Best Cash-Out Auto Refinance Loans in 2024

You could get a lower interest rate and tap into your vehicle’s equity through a cash-out auto refinance

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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Written by Carol Pope | Edited by Abigail Bassett and Stephanie Cervone | Updated November 17, 2023
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
LendersBest for…Starting APRLoan termsMinimum credit score
Cash-out auto refis on owned vehicles4.67%24 to 96 monthsNot specified
Cash-out auto refis from a credit union5.99%36 to 84 monthsNot specified
Cash-out auto refis with excellent customer support5.49%12 to 96 months525
rateGenius logoBad credit cash-out auto refis4.67%24 to 84 months500
Cash-out auto refis with an easy application process5.29%24 to 96 months500

Autopay: Best for cash-out auto refis on owned vehicles

4.67%

24 to 96 months

Not specified

Pros

  • Available even if you’ve paid off your car
  • Can buy add-on protection for your vehicle’s mechanical and electrical components
  • Extended loan terms

Cons

  • Does not disclose credit score minimum
  • Can only access up to $12,000 in equity
  • No live chat and closed on Sundays

What to know

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Many lenders only offer cash-outs if you’ve got a current auto loan to refinance. Even if you own your vehicle outright, you might be able to borrow against your car’s equity with Autopay. This loan marketplace links potential borrowers with lenders for auto loans, auto refinance loans and auto cash-out refinancing.

However, you won’t be able to borrow up to your vehicle’s value. Instead, Autopay caps its maximum loan amount to $12,000. You’ll also need to check your eligibility through prequalification. Autopay doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirements.

How to qualify

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Because Autopay is a loan aggregator, borrower requirements can vary.

It does state that most lenders require a minimum gross annual income of $24,000 or more. That said, it counts more than just employment income — investments, pensions and government benefits also count. Additionally, your vehicle must be 10 years old or newer, and odometer restrictions may apply.

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU): Best for cash-out auto refis from a credit union

5.99%

36 to 84 months

Not specified

Pros

  • Can borrow up to your vehicle’s value
  • APR discount for electric vehicles
  • No origination fees (unless refinancing a DCU auto loan)

Cons

  • Undisclosed credit score minimum
  • Membership required to finalize loan
  • No prequalification

What to know

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Credit unions tend to offer competitive APRs, and DCU is no exception. You could also get a rate reduction if you have an electric vehicle or sign up for automatic payments. What’s more, you won’t pay an origination fee as long as you’re not refinancing a DCU auto loan.

Becoming a DCU member comes with other perks, too. For instance, you can check your FICO score once a month at no additional cost. And if you live near a branch, you can get documents notarized for free.

How to qualify

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You don’t need to be a member to apply for the loan, but you’ll need to join DCU to finalize it. You are free to join if you:

  • Are related to a DCU member
  • Work for or are retired from a participating employer
  • Belong to a partnering organization
  • Live, work, worship or go to school in certain areas of Massachusetts
  •  
    If none of these apply, you can join a partnering organization for a fee. The least expensive of these is Reach Out for Schools, a nonprofit organization with a $10 minimum membership fee.

    DCU doesn’t disclose much information about its minimum borrower requirements. You must agree to a hard credit pull to check rates.

    iLending: Best for cash-out auto refis with excellent customer support

    5.49%

    12 to 96 months

    525

    Pros

    • Personalized service
    • Live chat and customer service line in English and Spanish
    • Don’t need perfect credit

    Cons

    • Lacks loan details
    • Does not disclose borrower requirements
    • No mobile app

    What to know

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    When you apply with iLending, a personal loan consultant will walk you through the application all the way up to closing. This lending platform’s customer service line is open seven days a week. Spanish-speaking consultants are also available. You can even earn a $100 gift card if you successfully refer a friend.

    Unfortunately, though, iLending doesn’t release many details about its loans. You can check your eligibility without harming your credit score through its prequalification process.

    How to qualify

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    You only have to have a score of 525 or higher to be eligible for iLending. Your car must also be a 2013 or newer and have fewer than 150,000 miles, and you must have at least $7,500 left on your current auto loan.

    rateGenius: Best for bad credit cash-out auto refis

    4.67%

    24 to 84 months

    500

    Pros

    • 500 minimum credit score
    • Can prequalify
    • Partners with more than 150 lenders

    Cons

    • High minimum loan balance
    • Fees vary based on lender
    • Customer service hours not disclosed

    What to know

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    RateGenius is a sister company to another lending platform on this list — Autopay. RateGenius works with more than 150 lenders and may work with you, even if you have less-than-perfect credit.

    Like other loan platforms, your loan terms can depend on the company RateGenius links you with. Also, some of the lenders that RateGenius works with charge extra fees (but it’ll let you know at the time of your offer).

    Read our full RateGenius auto refinance review.

    How to qualify

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    Many of RateGenius’s borrower requirements are unknown, perhaps because it works with so many lenders. In general, you must have a credit score of at least 500 and have at least $10,250 left on your existing car loan.

    RefiJet: Best for easy cash-out auto refis with an easy application process

    5.29%

    24 to 96 months

    500

    Pros

    • Extended Service Contract offered
    • Long loan terms available
    • Dedicated phone numbers for title questions, documents and loan applications

    Cons

    • No live chat
    • Customer service hours not disclosed
    • Unknown origination fees

    What to know

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    RefiJet boasts a smooth cash-out auto refinance process. Like other platforms, it shops multiple lenders, but it also goes above and beyond. If you have to mail any documents, RefiJet will send you a prepaid UPS label. It will also pay off your current loan and update your title after closing.

    Some of RefiJet’s partner lenders may charge origination fees. And while RefiJet is accessible to a large swath of borrowers, you must have at least fair credit to qualify.

    How to qualify

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    Compared to other car refinance platforms, RefiJet is a little more open about its borrower requirements. You must:

  • Be employed or have a verifiable source of income
  • Have made your recent car payments on time
  • Be refinancing a vehicle 10 years old or newer
  • Carry full coverage car insurance
  • Be up to date on your vehicle’s registration
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • Have a minimum credit score of 500
  • What is cash-out auto refinancing?

    When you refinance a car, you’re taking out a new loan to pay off (and replace) your current loan. The amount of your new loan is equal to what you owe on your current loan. Depending on your credit score, your new loan may come with a lower annual percentage rate (APR) or a different term length.

    Cash-out refinancing works like a standard refinance, with one major difference: Your new loan is larger than your current loan. These extra funds are pulled from your vehicle’s equity. Your cash-out refinance loan will still pay off your current loan, but you’ll get your equity as a lump sum.

    Example of a cash-out auto refinance loan

    Imagine that you bought a $22,000 used car. You’re two years into your five-year term, and you owe $13,000.

    Although you’ve improved your credit score since buying your car, your credit wasn’t great when you took out your loan. As a result, your loan has an 11% APR. On the plus side, your car hasn’t depreciated much, and it’s still worth $20,000.

    You wake up one morning and notice a leak in your roof. The repair estimate is a whopping $7,000 — money you don’t have.

    You have positive equity in your car (or, your car is worth more than you owe). Your credit score is also higher than when you took out your loan. Based on this, you think you may be a good candidate for a cash-out auto refinance.

    Your hunch was right. You prequalified for a $20,000 cash-out auto refinance loan at a 7% APR and a five year term. With this, you’ll net the $7,000 you need for your emergency home repair and get a new auto loan with a lower APR.

    Pros and cons of cash-out auto refinancing

    Although handy, cash-out auto refinancing can also be risky. It’s essential to have a full understanding of what you’re getting into before jumping in.

    Pros

      May be good for consolidating debt

    You could put your cash-out auto refinance toward debt consolidation. This only makes sense if your new car loan comes with a lower APR than what you carry on your current debt.

      Can provide funds for emergency expenses

    In a financial emergency, tapping your car’s equity could be better than turning to a credit card.

    According to a LendingTree study, the average credit card interest rate in October 2023 was nearly 25%. If you have good to excellent credit, a cash-out auto refinance loan has much lower interest rate.

      Possible to pay less interest or a lower monthly car payment

    You may qualify for a lower APR if your credit score has gone up since you first bought your car. Additionally, you could opt for a longer loan term. If you extend your term, your monthly car payment will likely go down (but you’ll pay more interest over time).

    Cons

      Increased risk for an upside-down car loan

    Since you’ll have less (or no) equity after a cash-out auto refinance, you may find yourself with an upside-down car loan. This means you may owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth and is also referred to as being underwater.

    Even if you aren’t upside down right away, your risk for an upside-down loan increases after a cash-out refinance. Remember, your car will also likely depreciate as time passes, further reducing your equity.

    Being underwater on your car loan is a pain. You may need to make a down payment on your current loan before you can sell or trade it in when you’re upside down. You usually need to pay the difference between your loan balance and your vehicle’s value to regain positive equity.

      Thinking about a cash-out auto refinance? You may want to consider adding GAP insurance.

    If you’re taking a cash-out auto refinance, you may also want to purchase GAP insurance. This can help hedge some risk if you go upside down on your loan.

    GAP, or guaranteed asset protection, pays the difference between your vehicle’s value and your loan balance if your car is totaled or stolen. Many cash-out auto refinance companies — such as Autopay and RefiJet — offer GAP for an additional cost.

      Adds to your debt

    By its very nature, cash-out auto refinancing requires you to take on more debt than you had before you started. Essentially, you’re negating any progress you’ve made in paying off your vehicle.

      Interest costs could be higher

    While your new loan may carry a lower APR, you could still pay more interest over the life of your loan(s). If you refinanced two years into a five-year auto loan, and your new loan has a five-year term, it’ll be seven years total before you own your car outright.

    How to apply for cash-out auto refinancing

    To apply for a cash-out auto refinancing, you should:

    Determine your car’s value

    To decide if a cash-out auto refinance is worth it, you need to figure out how much equity you have in your vehicle.

    First, use KBB or NADA to get an idea of your car’s value. Then, ask your current lender for your loan payoff amount. The difference between your car’s value and your payoff amount is how much equity you may have.

    Check your credit score

    Get your free credit score and compare it to what you had when you first bought your car. If your score has gone up, you might qualify for a lower APR than you have on your current loan.

    Compare lenders and prequalify

    Cash-out auto refinance loans can be hard to come by. Make sure the lenders you’re targeting offer them. When you’ve found a handful of lenders, prequalify and compare offers. Prioritize those with the lowest APRs.

    Also, pay attention to LTV, which varies across lenders. LTV, or loan-to-value ratio, measures how much equity the lender will allow you to take out. For example, a lender that has an LTV of 80% may allow you to take out up to 80% of your equity. Lenders rarely disclose their LTVs online, so you may need to call them directly to ask.

    Apply and finalize your loan

    When you’ve found the best cash-out auto refinance offer for your needs, you can formally apply. Prequalification doesn’t hurt your credit score, but formally applying almost always requires a hard credit pull.

    During this process, the lender will ask for details about your finances and employment. It may also ask for documents such as bank statements or a copy of your government-issued ID.

    After submitting all of your required documents, the lender will get back to you with a decision within a few minutes or days. It will also provide more information about how your current loan will be paid, how you’ll receive your equity and when your first payment is due.

    Alternatives to cash-out auto refinancing

    Cash-out auto refinancing isn’t the right choice for everyone. Consider the alternatives below:

    Traditional auto refinance

    May be best if you qualify for a lower APR on your auto loan and don’t need cash.

    An auto loan refinance can help you snag a lower APR due to either an increased credit score or better market conditions. To get the biggest bang for your buck, don’t lengthen your loan term, as this will increase how much interest you pay over time.

    Auto equity loan

    May be best if you need cash, have positive equity in your car and don’t want to change your auto loan.

    An auto equity loan lets you take the equity you have in your car as cash without refinancing your car loan. Because your car serves as collateral, APRs on auto equity loans tend to be lower than unsecured credit cards.

    Like a cash-out auto refinance, you may lose your car if you fall behind on your equity loan payments. You’ll still need to keep up on existing car loan payments, too.

    Personal loan

    May be best if you need cash and don’t qualify for a lower APR on your auto loan.

    Like a cash-out auto refinance, personal loans provide a lump sum of cash that you can use for nearly anything. Personal loans, however, have nothing to do with your car. That is, as long as your personal loan is unsecured (most are).

    A personal loan may pose less risk than a cash-out auto refinance. Your personal loan lender can’t repossess your car if you can’t pay back what you borrow. Even though you won’t lose your car, though, just one missed payment can cause a drastic drop in your credit score.

    How we chose the best cash-out auto refinance lenders

    We reviewed more than 15 lenders that offer auto refinance loans to determine the overall best five lenders. To make our list, lenders must offer cash-out auto refinance loans. From there, we prioritize lenders based on the following factors:

    • Accessibility: We chose lenders with auto loans that are available to more people and require fewer conditions. This may include lower credit requirements, wider geographic availability, faster funding and easier and more transparent prequalification, preapproval and application processes.
    • Rates and terms: We prioritized lenders with more competitive starting fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
    • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide any unique perks to customers, like free wealth coaching.

    LendingTree reviews and fact checks our top lender picks on a monthly basis. Not all lenders we reviewed can be found on LendingTree’s loan marketplace.

    Frequently asked questions

    It can be, but refinancing an auto loan is never a one-size-fits-all solution. This is especially true with a cash-out auto refi, since you’ll also be negating your car’s equity. You may want to explore other options that won’t put you at risk for an upside-down car loan or repossession.

    That depends on your equity and the lender. During a cash-out auto refinance, some lenders will only allow you to borrow up to your equity. Others may allow you to borrow up to 100% of your vehicle’s value (such as DCU).

    The less you owe on your car, the more likely you are to have positive equity. Paying for your car in cash is a surefire way to have positive equity. If this is unrealistic, you could make a large down payment or pay off your car loan faster than your loan term requires. Also, buying a make or model known to retain value can help you maintain positive equity.